Complete Guide On How to Write an Official Letter

Complete Guide On How to Write an Official Letter

Writing an official letter is an occasion that almost every person faces once in a lifetime. Regardless if you want to write a business letter to your partner or need to send an informal message to your child’s school teacher, you should learn how to write it properly because it is an official document. Making your official letter accurate is not overly challenging because you only have to learn how to structure your thoughts and add relevant headers.

How to Write an Official Letter

The most important aspect is learning about the basic structure as you compose your official letter:


It should include your address in the right-hand corner. If you are using the American standard writing, it should be Month Day, Year formatting (May 5, 2019). The Europeans use the date with the month and year (5/9/2019). The next line should include your recipient's address. It should be written in full name with the inclusion of the title, name of an organization, and postal address. 


In simple terms, it is a part where you greet an individual with a salutation. Be it formal or informal, the most usual is "Dear" with a name or title. For example, it may be "Dear John Smith" or "Mr.", "Dr." when you already know how to reference a person in question. Next, if you do not know a person's name, it should be "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam". 



In the majority of cases, you should implement at least three paragraphs. The rule of thumb is to keep your official letter as short as you can because business letters are shortened by default. The first paragraph should have an introduction to the problem or explain an appeal. If it is a response to previous correspondence, it must be mentioned. 

The second body paragraph should be the essence of your official letter. If we talk about a resume, it should discuss your education and skills. If you are asking for something, it should be mentioned right here. 
The last or third body paragraph should be a suggestion and gratitude. Just sum up what your letter has been about. It is just like a conclusion for an essay. 


Working with a signature, you may use more than just "Sincerely yours". It is also possible to type "Sincerely," which is one of those options when you are not sure how to close your official letter. At the same time, you may use "Respectfully yours", which is another option. If you want to talk to someone you have already worked with in the past, it may be just "Regards" or "With Appreciation". 

Just remember that you should not make your body parts too formal if you have contacted a certain person in the past but avoid becoming a rap artist when contacting your boss. 

Letter Enclosures

Remember that an official letter often includes additional documents. For example, you may write an official cover letter first and then attach your resume or any statistical data. If you provide anything, use the word "Enclosure" after your name. It makes it clear that there are more pages to explore. 

Formal vs Informal Official Letter Writing 

There are crucial peculiarities that you must know about. The informal letters would include basic "thank you for your care" notes, while formal letters may include appeals or resumes. 

Here is the breakdown of how each official letter type can be told apart: 

Informal Letter 

  • It may be either typed or handwritten.
  • It implements colloquial English with slang expressions. 
  • There is no clear structure. 
  • It is non-official.

Formal Letter 

  • Official letters must be typed. 
  • There are standard, official, or business language writing rules. 
  • You should follow a formal letter structure. 
  • It should include basic contact information with a signature. 

In simple terms, a formal letter is sending a message to your business partner, while an informal letter is an email message that you send to a fellow college student or a family member. Even if you write an informal letter, always show due respect and care as your correspondence, especially online, may become public by accident.